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River Murray Mary by Colin Thiele

River Mary Mary – An Australian Living Book of Historical Fiction

We have just finished and enjoyed River Murray Mary by Colin Thiele. © 1979 as part of Australian literature content that I try to incorporate each term.

We used it as a read aloud but it would also be a good independent reader. This short chapter book (9 chapters) has watercolour illustrations from Robert Ingpen. It’s also available as an audio book.

Recommended reading age 7-12

Without Spoiling The Story I’ll Give A Brief Overview

Mary is an eleven year old happy girl who loves nature and her dog. Her father, a WWI soldier settler, now has a fruit farm along the Murray River. Mary, an only child, helps her parents with the daily and seasonal responsibilities of farming.

The family experiences hard times when:

  • illness strikes,
  • crops fail,
  • floods come
  • and fruit prices plummet.

Mary’s family handles each new challenge with an Australian battler spirit. Their family and community are strong and optimistic.

This is a good book for teaching children about life on the Murray in the 1920 – 1930.

Where To Find River Murray Mary

I found min in a second had store. You could try Books an Collectibles.

It is out of print but we found ours through the libraries interlibrary loan system. You can find it libraries around Australia with Trove.

You can also buy River Murray Mary as an ebook.

For more Australian stories and historical fiction for children see our Australian history and stories book list.

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